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Outback Mulls 3 Finalists

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ATLANTA Outback Steakhouse said it is looking at three finalists for creative chores on its national broadcast assignment.

They are: Publicis Groupe's The Kaplan Thaler Group and Havas' Euro RSCG, both in New York, as well as Omnicom Group's Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco, according to the client.

Five undisclosed shops were eliminated from contention.

The Tampa, Fla.-based chain, with 885 locations nationwide, spent $80 million on U.S. ads last year, almost all of it on broadcast efforts, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus, and has said it could up its spending to $100 million next year.

Incumbent davidandgoliath in Los Angeles, an independent agency, declined to defend. The shop worked on the business for three years.

Havas-owned Media Planning Group in New York handles the company's national media planning and buying. Independent Doner in Detroit and Tampa buys spot media for Outback.